The exodus continues, following Audi’s departure from top-flight World Endurance Championship competition in the LMP1-Hybrid category at the end of last year; now, Porsche is expected to follow suit, with its departure said to come at the end of this year, according to an Autocar report.

The Weissach-based outfit returned to top-level competition in 2014 before claiming its first comeback win the year after, followed by another in 2016 to set up for a three-peat earlier this year.

Like sister company Audi, Porsche is rumoured to make a similar move from WEC LMP1 into Formula E, which leaves Toyota as the sole, factory-backed LMP1-Hybrid class team remaining for next year. Toyota joined the premier endurance racing class in 2012.

Either Audi or Porsche are expected to make an entry into Formula 1 pending approval from parent company Volkswagen, likely for the 2021 when engine regulations are revised, according to Autocar. The fully-electric, single-seater racing series is becoming increasingly populated, with Audi set to join Jaguar, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

Porsche spends £250 million (RM1.4 billion) annually on its WEC programme, reports German outlet Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung. The Germans marque’s departure from the LMP1-Hybrid class will leave a very large gap in its budget allocation, and even with a planned Formula E entry.

The open-wheeler series’ mandate of a spec chassis could mean massive savings for Porsche since it won’t expend the same level of resource on design and manufacturing, though intensive development of electric powertrains will then be its primary focus.

“We are resolutely taking on the challenge of electric mobility. Even with solely battery-powered sports cars, Porsche is remaining true to its philosophy and offering our customers the sportiest and technologically most sophisticated model in this market segment,” said chairman of the executive board Oliver Blume of the Mission E concept, a direction Porsche appears to take on with its motorsport endeavours.

GALLERY: Porsche 919 Hybrid

GALLERY: Porsche Mission E concept